Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday April 20 2008
Attendance: 42 584
There really is nothing that words can say that numbers don't say better: 5-1 What more needs to be added?
This was a fantastic day for Villa. Not so good for the Blues fans, I'll not be overly worrying I have to be honest BUT I must say their players were a right shower today and showed no respect to their supporters. How nice it was that our players knew exactly what this game meant and from start to finish each and every one of them fought with their claret and blue hearts on their sleeves.
I tell you what, it might not be totally legal (or legal at all come to think of it) but to be honest I'd lock Gareth Barry up, only let him out on match days then get him back under guard again. That guy is going nowhere, he was world class today, his passing was top quality and he covered every inch of the pitch. By the end he - amongst a few others - looked dead on his feet because he did what all players should do in local derbies, gave 110%. Then again, it is very rare when he doesn't!
I can't quite fathom what has happened with Villa but all of a sudden we are back to looking a quality outfit. The long ball football has once again been replaced with the passing game and through balls to the ever speedy attacking players and boy oh boy do the Villa fans enjoy it and let the players know how much with a wall of noise. I think we should all pat ourselves on the backs for how we have all been this season!
The place rocked today, the Blues fans had no chance as they were outsung the whole game (credit to them when Forssell scored - oh, by the way, lets sign him if they do go down, he is quality - they all started singing 'easy easy easy' in response to our jibes. Come on, you've got to laugh!). Blues were a shambles but only because we made them a shambles, this wasn't them playing badly and us taking us advantage, this was us playing them off the park. Remember they drew the week before with Everton and beat Manchester City 3-1 only two games ago.
The goals were all taken with aplomb, to be honest I'm in a daze and will have to remind myself watching match of the day two tonight, blimey I can't wait! If you've not seen Gabby's goal, then that will be a treat, he skipped by a few bluenoses and finished with deadly accuracy, that man has his mojo back, as has John Carew who was overjoyed and stayed on the pitch longer than the other players saluting the Villa faithful. His face was full of delight for his fantastic contribution and his brace. Ashley Young also put in an outstanding performance with two great goals.
This was Randy, The General and Paul Faulkner's (Villa director and all round good egg) first derby match, if this is the luck they bring, they can come again and again and again!
I'm not totally sure why and maybe some have had different experiences at different parts of the game, but there seemed far less menace today, walking around outside there were less police and certainly none of the usual helicopters etc. I'm told it kicked off away from the ground but as long as it was contained between those who wanted to be daft, then no worries!
I thought the ref Mark Clatenburg (yes, I know, I'm flying from one thing to another and to be honest, I don't care!) was ok today in as much as he let the game flow BUT he did allow three disgraceful tackles by Blues players - one of them Ridgewell - that should have resulted in yellows, to see only one yellow for a local derby is amazing, in some ways the Blues looked like they had given up and the Blues fans seemed to be resigned to losing.
Blimey, I think I need to lay down a while! What did I say the score was again? Oh yes, 5-1, 5-1, 5-1. 'Cause we're the pride of Birmingham, we shall not be moved'.
Date:Sunday April 20 2008
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